Matchup Analysis: Los Angeles Chargers at Denver Broncos

Vegas Prediction

Vegas says: Chargers 21, Broncos 18

FBG Projections

TeamRushYardsTDCompAttPass YdTDINT

Los Angeles Chargers Offense: overview

Points (vs AVG) (rank)Rush Yards (vs AVG) (rank)Pass Yards (vs AVG) (rank)
Chargers Offense20.4 (-2.0) (23)87 (-24) (26)277 (+41) (5)
Broncos Defense19.7 (-2.7) (10)114 (+2) (21)208 (-27) (5)

Denver Broncos Offense: overview

Points (vs AVG) (rank)Rush Yards (vs AVG) (rank)Pass Yards (vs AVG) (rank)
Broncos Offense15.9 (-6.5) (29)111 (+0) (16)192 (-43) (29)
Chargers Defense19.8 (-2.6) (11)112 (+0) (20)205 (-30) (4)

Chargers Rushing offense

Tough matchup vs. the Broncos defense.

The Chargers are coming off a bye as Melvin Gordon strides into this game with three solid performances at his back. Gordon has averaged just under 86 rushing yards per game with three touchdowns in his last three games, compared to averaging just 28 rushing yards per game with one touchdown through his first four games played. The coaching change in Los Angeles certainly looks to have done some good for Gordon, as he is also seeing solid volume and usage. However, this Chargers offense has been rather unpredictable all season long and can very quickly flip to a pass-heavy unit, as displayed during the second half of their last game. Austin Ekeler has regained somewhat of a role on the ground in these past three games, but he is firmly in the RB2 slot behind Gordon as it pertains to rushing the ball. Ekeler will continue to contribute through the air and has maintained a respectable snap count hovering between 40-50 percent, but he canít be relied upon as a rusher anymore. The bye came at a good time for this offensive line, as both starting tackles had been banged up leading into last week. Left tackle Russell Okung likely has the best shot of returning, but even his status remains in question. If both tackles miss again, this offensive line will rank as one of the worst in the league.

After allowing an average of just 68 rushing yards per game in their previous six games, the Broncos run defense faltered last week, giving up 244 rushing yards to a Bills offense that ran the ball a massive 47 times. With the astonishingly high volume of rushes aside, injuries played a part in Denverís lapse last week as both linebacker Josey Jewel and interior defender Shelby Harris missed the second half with ankle injuries. Harris hurt his ankle in pre-game warmups and tried to play in the first half, but he had to call it quits after halftime. Neither appears to be at serious risk of missing time this week, which is a great sign--particularly for Harris, who is an anchor of this Broncos defensive line. Denver maintains a fearsome front seven, led by the continued dominant play of A.J. Johnson, who racked up 15 tackles last week and has been astounding during this second half of the season. The Chargers offensive line should struggle mightily in the trenches while a stout secondary and linebacker group should help keep this Chargers rushing offense in check just as they did back in Week 5 when they limited these Chargers running backs to just 38 rushing yards on 15 attempts.

Chargers Passing offense

Tough matchup vs. the Broncos defense.

The Chargers passing offense continues to be one of the highest-volume groups in the league as Phillip Rivers has led them to an average of 276.9 passing yards per game--fifth-most on the season. Rivers has been a pure risk-reward gunslinger though--as shown by his questionable 15-14 touchdown-to-interception. The inconsistency from Rivers has been on full display all season, as he now has four games with multiple interceptions and three games with zero touchdowns. Leading into the Week 12 bye, Rivers had thrown seven interceptions in just his last two games--with both contests against below-average passing defenses. Keenan Allen has seen double-digit targets in four is his last five games and ranks fourth in the league with 9.8 targets per game. Despite that volume, Allen went seven straight games without a touchdown while failing to exceed 70 receiving yards over that span. He did notch 71 yards and a score in his last game, but the lack of production makes it tough to rely on Allen. Austin Ekeler remains consistently involved in this passing offense from the backfield, while Hunter Henry has also been a steady tight end with at least 60 yards or a touchdown in six of seven games played this season.

The Broncos have made it tough on opposing passing offenses all season, giving up just 207.5 passing yards per game (5th-fewest) and an average of just 6.8 passing yards per attempt (T-6th fewest). The scoring has been up against them in recent weeks, but this secondary for Denver continues to play well--led by the shut-down play from cornerback Chris Harris Jr. and continued stellar play from both starting safeties Kareem Jackson and Justin Simmons. Harris played a big part in limiting Keenan Allen to just four catches for 18 yards in their Week 5 meeting, and nothing is to say he canít do the same this week. Rivers also had a rough day overall in their last meeting, passing for just 211 yards with no touchdowns, two interceptions, and a season-low 4.4 yards per pass attempt. The Broncos do have a pair of relatively exploitable cornerbacks in Duke Dawson and Davontae Harris, while their pass rush is also questionable with Von Miller having an off-year. However, this Broncos group played well in their last outing against the Chargers and now also has a spectacular new linebacker in A.J. Johnson to help keep the likes of Austin Ekeler in check.

Broncos Rushing offense

Neutral matchup vs. the Chargers defense.

Phillip Lindsay handily led the Broncos backfield for the second straight week, out-rushing Royce Freeman 13-2 last week and 16-8 the week prior. Lindsay has not been particularly flashy with his opportunity to lead this backfield though, averaging just under 4.3 yards per rush attempt with no touchdowns in his last two games. Lindsay has had a relatively low ceiling all season long as his lack of true bell-cow volume makes it tough for him to pad his stats on the ground. Still, though, Lindsay is averaging 4.8 yards per rush attempt and has five rushing touchdowns on the season, making him a decent option at the position. Royce Freeman did play half of the snaps last week, but his loss of volume on the ground puts a big damper on any future contribution to be expected in this backfield. On a positive note for this rushing offense, it looks like right tackle JaWuan James could finally be on pace to suit up this week after returning to practice last week and practicing most of this week. Keep an eye on his status, but having James back on the field could life this Broncos offensive line out of the bottom tier back up to a respectable unit.

The Chargers have been relatively inconsistent against the run this season, coming out strong in games against decent rushing offenses in the Packers, Chiefs, and Texans but falling short against teams like the Colts, Bears, and Broncos. In the last meeting between these two teams (Week 5), Denver running backs rushed for a combined 175 yards and a touchdown as this Chargers front seven simply could not stop them. This is a bottom-10 run defense in terms of fantasy points allowed to running backs (eighth-most), but they have played reasonably well in recent weeks with running backs averaging just 3.6 yards per carry over the past three games. This run defense will receive a boost with the return of safety Derwin James, who was an impressive run-stopping safety during his rookie season last year. They also had starting interior lineman Justin Jones back in the lineup before the bye, as he had been injured since Week 6. While this defense still has some question marks, particularly at linebacker, they are getting healthy and come into this game rested from the Week 12 bye.

Broncos Passing offense

Tough matchup vs. the Chargers defense.

The Broncos quarterback situation is in flux as of early in the week, with both Brandon Allen and rookie Drew Lock in contention to start this week. Lock has made progress on his way back from a thumb injury suffered during the preseason, but he has not yet been reactivated from injured reserve while coach Vic Fangio has yet to make a decision on Lockís status. Brandon Allen has started the last three games for Denver, and his last two outings have been thoroughly forgettable with Allen completing less than 45 percent of his passes and throwing one interception in both of those contests. Last week was particularly dismal as Allen managed just 82 passing yards despite attempting 25 passes. Courtland Sutton remains the top receiver here and saw eight targets last week, but even he could not weather the terrible performance from Allen last week. It will be tough to trust any receiving options in this offense if Allen is back under center. However, if Lock were to suit up, it would be his first NFL game with very limited practice under his belt and virtually no chemistry with his receivers. Either way, things look grim for this Broncos passing offense.

The Chargers secondary is full of change this week--some good and some bad. On the bad side, starting slot cornerback Michael Davis will begin a two-game suspension this week. Davis has been decent this season, but his absence will certainly not send shockwaves through this secondary. What will shock this unit, however, is the likely return both All-Pro safety Derwin James and safety Adrian Phillips. James hadnít played a snap this season after suffering a foot fracture in training campo, while Phillips spent most of the season on Injured Reserve with an arm injury. James is a high impact player who had a tremendous rookie campaign, so if he can pick up anywhere near where he left off, his presence alone will be a significant boost to this passing defense that already boasts one of the top shut-down cornerbacks in football (Casey Hayward) and another talented young cornerback opposite him in Desmond King--both of whom should be challenges for the Broncos receivers. The Chargers edge rushers continue to play well, but they do lack pass-rushing talent on the interior--which is where this Broncos offensive line would be weaker. Still, the Chargers should hold an advantage in the trenches and apply plenty of pressure on whoever ends up under center for Denver.

Broncos vs QB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)4 (-4.6)4 (-4.6)4 (-4.2)4 (-4.9)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)27 (+2.5)27 (+2.5)24 (+2.0)27 (+2.4)
9Baker Mayfield75274227310322019.919.917.117.1
11Kirk Cousins6329353193021028.128.122.926.9
12Josh Allen80152518521956021.921.920.020.0

Philip Rivers (FanDuel: $7300, DraftKings: $5500)

10@ OAK7717312072300015.415.413.313.3
11vs KC8028523531400017.717.716.119.1
13PROJ-Dodds23352581.51110181818.0 (H=40)18.0 (H=54)
13PROJ-Tremblay23362541.41.212017.317.317.3 (H=38)17.3 (H=50)
13PROJ-Bloom223525721.600019.219.219.2 (H=45)19.2 (H=60)

Broncos vs RB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)12 (-1.0)13 (-0.8)12 (-1.0)13 (-1.0)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)9 (-3.9)11 (-4.2)8 (-4.5)11 (-4.2)
9Nick Chubb4520650542609.
9Dontrell Hilliard3058022601.
11Dalvin Cook51112616531011.716.714.216.7
11Ameer Abdullah8150221101.
12Devin Singletary57211060218011.412.411.915.4
12Frank Gore231565000006.

Melvin Gordon (FanDuel: $7000, DraftKings: $6400)

10@ OAK4822108111.025019.320.319.823.3
11vs KC421469053.021091210.512.0
13PROJ-Dodds17650.52.5170.111.814.313.1 (H=24)14.3 (H=31)
13PROJ-Tremblay15580.42.3160.110.412.711.6 (H=19)12.7 (H=25)
13PROJ-Bloom17720.83.0200. (H=37)18.2 (H=47)

Austin Ekeler (FanDuel: $6700, DraftKings: $5700)

10@ OAK35619022.029110.812.811.812.8
11vs KC465240128.0108013.
13PROJ-Dodds7260.24.5450.310.114.612.4 (H=23)14.6 (H=36)
13PROJ-Tremblay6230.24.6410.39.41411.7 (H=21)14.0 (H=33)
13PROJ-Bloom5220.24.0460.5111513.0 (H=25)15.0 (H=38)

Broncos vs WR

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)6 (-4.3)6 (-6.2)7 (-5.1)6 (-6.7)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)23 (+3.9)24 (+4.8)23 (+4.4)22 (+4.7)
9Jarvis Landry7113651100011.
9Odell Beckham71658701-508.213.210.713.2
11Stefon Diggs6255121100018.123.120.626.1
11Olabisi Johnson51963500003.
12Cole Beasley659676100013.619.616.619.6
12John Brown74423910009.911.910.911.9

Keenan Allen (FanDuel: $6800, DraftKings: $6500)

10@ OAK65118.068011808.616.612.616.6
11vs KC71128.071100013.
13PROJ-Dodds5.9680.40009.215.112.2 (H=22)15.1 (H=33)
13PROJ-Tremblay5.9690.40109.415.312.4 (H=23)15.3 (H=34)
13PROJ-Bloom6.0640.40008.814.811.8 (H=21)14.8 (H=32)

Mike Williams (FanDuel: $5700, DraftKings: $4600)

10@ OAK7332.05500005.
11vs KC7452.07600007.
13PROJ-Dodds3.0550.20006.79.78.2 (H=13)9.7 (H=22)
13PROJ-Tremblay2.7420.20105.58.26.9 (H=9)8.2 (H=16)
13PROJ-Bloom4.0660.400091311.0 (H=22)13.0 (H=36)

Andre Patton (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3000)

10@ OAK6240.000000000.00.0
11vs KC5910.000000000.00.0
13PROJ-Dodds0.9130.10001.92.82.4 (H=2)2.8 (H=3)
13PROJ-Tremblay0.9120.10001.82.72.3 (H=1)2.7 (H=3)

Broncos vs TE

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)16 (-0.3)20 (+0.4)19 (+0.1)20 (+0.2)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)26 (+2.3)26 (+3.5)25 (+2.9)24 (+3.4)
9Demetrius Harris51432502.
11Kyle Rudolph555567112.717.715.217.7
12Tyler Kroft25111401.

Hunter Henry (FanDuel: $6600, DraftKings: $5800)

10@ OAK6274.030191311.013.0
11vs KC6196.06906.912.911.914.9
13PROJ-Dodds5.1600.48.413.511.0 (H=19)13.5 (H=31)
13PROJ-Tremblay4.9570.48.11310.6 (H=18)13.0 (H=29)
13PROJ-Bloom5.0610. (H=21)14.1 (H=33)

Broncos vs PK

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)27 (+1.0)27 (+1.0)22T (+1.5) (+0.0)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)25 (+1.4)25 (+1.4)22T (+0.7) (+0.0)
9Austin Seibert4411131313.013.0
11Dan Bailey0033333.03.0
12Steve Hauschka2222888.08.0

Mike Badgley (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

10@ OAK1133666.06.0
11vs KC34009910.010.0

Broncos vs TD

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)16 (-0.3)16 (-0.3)25T (+1.1)25T (+1.1)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)9 (-2.4)9 (-2.4)15 (-0.4)15 (-0.4)
9Cleveland Browns2430230100555.05.0
11Minnesota Vikings2339421000444.04.0
12Buffalo Bills3134410006613.013.0

Los Angeles Chargers (FanDuel: $3900, DraftKings: $3100)

10@ OAK26.0027830000334.04.0
11vs KC24.0031011000333.03.0
13PROJ-Dodds17.703272.610.700.510.710.710.7 (H=31)10.7 (H=39)
13PROJ-Tremblay18.003502.21.10.800.510.710.710.7 (H=31)10.7 (H=39)

Chargers vs QB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)6 (-3.6)6 (-3.7)7 (-3.3)7 (-3.6)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)4 (-5.5)4 (-5.5)6 (-3.9)5 (-4.8)
9Aaron Rodgers5423351611015012.612.612.912.9
10Derek Carr5821312181014015.315.313.113.1
11Patrick Mahomes68193218211559018.

Brandon Allen (FanDuel: $6600, DraftKings: $4200)

11@ MIN81173924011318016.816.814.414.4
12@ BUF50102582012803.
13PROJ-Dodds19322101.11.13110.115.515.515.5 (H=34)15.5 (H=54)
13PROJ-Tremblay20342411.21.1280. (H=41)17.2 (H=65)
13PROJ-Bloom00000000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)

Chargers vs RB

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)25 (+3.0)26 (+3.3)26 (+3.6)25 (+3.7)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)24 (+4.1)26 (+6.7)25 (+5.6)26 (+6.0)
9Jamaal Williams2421006639110.916.913.916.9
9Aaron Jones32830041-
10Josh Jacobs30167115330016.119.117.619.1
10Alec Ingold1213011917.
11LeSean McCoy2772916428011.715.713.715.7
11Darrel Williams2911351328010.312.311.312.3

Phillip Lindsay (FanDuel: $6300, DraftKings: $5000)

11@ MIN521667022.0807.
12@ BUF271357031.01106.
13PROJ-Dodds15690.42.515010.813.312.1 (H=23)13.3 (H=35)
13PROJ-Tremblay16710.42.418011.313.712.5 (H=25)13.7 (H=37)
13PROJ-Bloom16700. (H=22)12.6 (H=32)

Royce Freeman (FanDuel: $5300, DraftKings: $4200)

11@ MIN24831011.01404.
12@ BUF28220022.0902.
13PROJ-Dodds7290.12.215057.26.1 (H=8)7.2 (H=14)
13PROJ-Tremblay6260.12.01504.76.75.7 (H=7)6.7 (H=12)
13PROJ-Bloom6220. (H=5)5.4 (H=8)

Devontae Booker (FanDuel: $4500, DraftKings: $3000)

11@ MIN514020.0000.
12@ BUF300000.000000.00.0
13PROJ-Dodds0000.000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)
13PROJ-Tremblay0201.51101.32.82.0 (H=1)2.8 (H=3)
13PROJ-Bloom0000.000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)

Chargers vs WR

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)3 (-5.6)2 (-6.9)3 (-6.1)2 (-7.7)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)1 (-13.9)2 (-17.3)1 (-15.6)2 (-18.4)
9Allen Lazard25434400004.
9Davante Adams451174100004.111.17.611.1
10Hunter Renfrow31544200004.
10Tyrell Williams49532500002.
11Sammy Watkins56322600002.
11Mecole Hardman52421300001.

Courtland Sutton (FanDuel: $6600, DraftKings: $5800)

11@ MIN7295.01130210014.219.216.321.8
12@ BUF5081.02700002.
13PROJ-Dodds5.1720.40009.614.712.2 (H=23)14.7 (H=36)
13PROJ-Tremblay5.3810.403010.816.113.5 (H=27)16.1 (H=42)
13PROJ-Bloom5.0630.50009.314.311.8 (H=21)14.3 (H=34)

Tim Patrick (FanDuel: $5100, DraftKings: $3000)

11@ MIN5984.07700007.711.79.711.7
12@ BUF3231.0300000.
13PROJ-Dodds3.3450.30006.39.68.0 (H=14)9.6 (H=33)
13PROJ-Tremblay3.8530.30007.110.99.0 (H=17)10.9 (H=41)
13PROJ-Bloom3.0430.20005.58.57.0 (H=11)8.5 (H=27)

Chargers vs TE

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)13 (-0.6)10 (-1.5)10 (-1.0)10 (-1.7)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)15 (-0.6)15 (-0.8)15 (-0.7)15 (-0.9)
9Jimmy Graham35441701.
10Darren Waller56534004.
11Travis Kelce6510792115.222.218.722.2

Noah Fant (FanDuel: $5100, DraftKings: $3700)

11@ MIN70114.06005.
12@ BUF3753.01401.
13PROJ-Dodds3.8430. (H=14)9.9 (H=28)
13PROJ-Tremblay3.8450.36.310.18.2 (H=15)10.1 (H=29)
13PROJ-Bloom3.0410. (H=10)8.3 (H=21)

Troy Fumagalli (FanDuel: $4300, DraftKings: $2500)

11@ MIN2931.0316.
12@ BUF1000.000000.00.0
13PROJ-Dodds0.000000.0 (H=0)0.0 (H=0)
13PROJ-Tremblay0.5600.61.10.8 (H=0)1.1 (H=0)

Chargers vs PK

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)11T (-1.3)11T (-1.3)6 (-1.3) (+0.0)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)11 (-1.0)11 (-1.0)16 (-0.3) (+0.0)
9Mason Crosby1100335.05.0
10Daniel Carlson2323889.09.0
11Harrison Butker1133667.07.0

Brandon McManus (FanDuel: $--, DraftKings: $--)

11@ MIN3422111113.013.0
12@ BUF1100334.04.0

Chargers vs TD

Season FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)20T (+0.5)20T (+0.5)18T (+0.1)18T (+0.1)
Last 4 weeks FPPG allowed rank (vs AVG)26T (+2.3)26T (+2.3)24 (+2.3)24 (+2.3)
9Green Bay Packers2644220000222.02.0
10Oakland Raiders2431553001171717.017.0
11Kansas City Chiefs1743824000101011.011.0

Denver Broncos (FanDuel: $4400, DraftKings: $3000)

11@ MIN27.0032150200999.09.0
12@ BUF20.0042411000334.04.0
13PROJ-Dodds20.603552.310.600. (H=22)9.5 (H=32)
13PROJ-Tremblay20.503422.31.20.700.510.310.310.3 (H=25)10.3 (H=37)